Student's summer research could help tackle global obesity epidemic

Posted on Friday 18th July 2014

Anne-Marie MartinPsychology undergraduate Anne-Marie Martin has been awarded a summer research bursary to study the use of social norms in promoting healthy eating.

Previous work by Dr Suzanne Higgs and colleagues has shown that when healthy weight students are told their peers enjoy fruit and vegetables they are more likely to eat healthily themselves.

Anne-Marie (pictured) was awarded the bursary as part of the University of Birmingham’s Undergraduate Research Experience.

She will work with Research Fellow Jason Thomas to investigate whether social norms have a similar impact on the food choices of obese participants.

Anne-Marie said: "This is a fantastic opportunity for me, as I will be fully involved in creating the study, and hopefully I will be able to produce a publication will which greatly enhance my prospects to continue in research."

If social norms prove as effective for obese participants the approach could be used to help tackle the global obesity crisis.